Saturday, August 25, 2007

Guatemalan Recipes

A few people asked for the recipes that I made for our Family Day dinner last night. So, here you go:

Guatemalan Chicken with Pineapple (Pollo en Pina)

2 tablespoons olive oil or vegetable oil
3-3 1/2 lbs broiler-fryer chickens, in pieces
1 medium onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 pineapple, cut in 1 inch cubes or 1 (20 ounce) can unsweetened pineapple chunks, drained
1/2 cup dry sherry
2 tablespoons vinegar
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1 dash pepper
2 medium tomatoes, coarsely chopped
hot cooked rice (can cook concurrently so all is ready at the same time)

Heat oil in lg skillet; cook chicken on med heat until brown on all sides-- approx 15 min.
Remove chicken, cook onion& garlic in remaining oil until onion is tender, stirring frequently.
Return chicken to skillet.
Mix all remaining ingredients except tomatoes (and rice!); pour over chicken.
Bring to a boil, reduce heat, cover, and simmer 20 min.
Add tomatoes; simmer, uncovered, until thickest pieces of chicken are cooked through-- approx 20 min.
Serve with rice.

My notes for this recipe:

I used fresh pineapple - yummmmy

I had seen other versions of the recipe that didn't have you brown the chicken or anything, just throw it all in a pot and simmer. And they called for more liquid. I knew the chicken needed to stew and the liquid called for above wouldn't be enough. So, I used a good bit more of the vinegar and sherry and added some chicken stock until the chicken was mostly covered. I also moved everything into a stock pot since a skillet really isn't big enough for a whole chicken cut up.


Arroz Guatemalteco

2 cups rice
2 TBL peanut oil( I used olive oil)
1 cup mixed vegetables (carrots, celery, sweet red peppers and peas)
4 cups chicken or beef stock
Saute rice in oil, until rice has absorbed the oil but has not changed color. Add vegetable, salt and pepper, and 4 cups of stock. Bring to a boil, cover, reduce heat and simmer until liquid has been absorbed about twenty minutes.

NOTE: I found there was a bit too much liquid in the rice, so maybe use about 1/4 cup less of the stock. Also, I would recommend using stock, not broth as it is richer. It is usually in a cardboard box vs. a can in the same section of the grocery store.

For the plantains, I always just buy the frozen Goya ones. They are 100% as good as if you fry them up yourself and a whole lot less messy as you just microwave them!

There are some more great sounding recipes here:


And here are a couple of pics from today. We went to a park and met up with some families that are part of our local international adoption group. Gabriella had a blast running around. For the first time, she got to climb up on some stuff and go down a slide. She's got some work in the dexterity and depth-perception department, but as the weather breaks around here, we'll be visiting parks a lot more often and that should help. She missed her morning nap and all that running around must have worn her out. She slept for 3 1/2 hrs this afternoon and didn't get up until 6:15. I really thought she wouldn't go to bed when I put her down. Much to my surprise, she went right to sleep at 8:15. That was one tired girl!

Friday, August 24, 2007

Forever Family Day

Today marks one year since Gabriella was placed in our arms forever and we began our life as a family. We, of course, were a family from the day we had her referral, but August 24 was the day we never had to say good-bye to her again and leave her behind. I still remember it like it just happened. Yet, other times, it seems she has been with us forever.
What a year it's been. I look back at the old pictures and can't believe how much she has grown and changed. It's been such a journey to watch her learn new things every day.

Here are a couple of pictures from one year ago today when we were just reunited.

We decided to keep it low-key and I made dinner and we had my mom over. I made Guatemalan Chicken in Pineapple and Guatemalan-style rice and some sweet plantains. It was YUMMY.
Daddy brought her some balloons and boy oh boy was she a happy girl! She ran around the house playing with those until dinner. Good thing she was hungry or it could have been ugly taking them away to eat.

Where's mommy?

There she is!

And here's some cuteness from earlier in the day.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

What???? That Scale Can't Be Right!!

Gabriella has been pulling the scale out from under the bathroom cabinet and standing on it lately. I think it's just so funny how much they pick up. She must see daddy standing on it because I weigh before my shower and that's while she is napping, so she didn't know what to do from watching me. This morning I was in the kitchen and came in to check on her and found her standing on it. Of course, I ran for the camera!

I think all my weight is in my belly, wouldn't you agree?

Maybe if I squat down, it will read lower.

I'm multitasking - reading while driving my car. Where's my phone???

Now, I'm eating while driving. Hey, everyone does it, right?

Monday, August 20, 2007

Thanks to My Secret Blog Pal !!!!!

My SBP has done her homework and paid attention to the blog :-) I received some cute PJs(so I won't have to do as much laundy as I previously lamented) and a fork and spoon set for Gabriella to practice her self-feeding. I swear I just had this set in my hands yesterday and for some reason put it back. Now I guess I know the reason! And, as was pointed out, Bing has a new box too!

Thank you!!!!!!!!!!!!

And a few pics from today. I actually got the camera out.

Riding her motorcycle with her purses!

My messy little eater! She was hungry tonight and kept signing for more. I have been trying to teach her a few signs since she obviously isn't going to talk anytime soon. She has her own versions of the signs. But, I guess that is OK since I know what she means and that's what is important. She knows eat, more and all done. More and all done are not quite "proper", but oh well.

Mommy, let me help you clean up after dinner - hahaha!

Did you need a container to put things in?

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Shoe Obsession

Gabriella's fascination with shoes is increasing daily. She gets a real kick out of them and points at everyone's shoes. She actually puts ours on now and walks around with them on. Boy do I see dress up parties with shoes and purses in our future.

Notice what's in her hands.

Trying on mommy's shoe...

And daddy's ...

Mommy, are we ready to go swimming yet?

Hmmmm, I think I can open this if I keep trying.

Getting closer!


Like my 'do' ??

Come here Bing, give me a kiss!

Blech, kitty fur in my mouth.

Competition for Bing's spot in the sink.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Self-feeding Adventures

I'll admit I haven't been really persistent about trying to get Gabriella to feed herself with a spoon (and never mind even thinking of a fork!!). But, every time I did try, it didn't go so well. She really, really resists when I try to help guide her and it often ended in total hysterics and an abrupt end to a meal before really getting started. Or, she'd put the spoon down and shove her hands into the bowl.

But, this morning, I decided that at 17 months, it's high time we really start getting the hang of this. So, I took a deep breath, put her yogurt into a bowl and gave her the spoon. She dipped it in a few times and licked the spoon and then actually started having some success with getting it into the spoon and then in her mouth. Getting the spoon right-side-up wasn't always achieved (and that guiding thing once again didn't go so well), but all-in-all it was progress.

Grandma sent Gabriella a new purse. It just happened to match the outfit she had on when it came!

Lovin' on her kitty. She just loves her Bing.

Bing, do you see the lizzies outside???? Mommy says it looks like a miniature version of Jurrasic Park out there these days.

Hmmmm, which shoes should I wear today?

Mommy, can you help me?

OK, I'll wear these since they match my purse.

Hmmmm, what's in my shopping cart?

Aha, purses!!!!

Given her obsession with shoes and purses, she is her mother's daughter :-)